Prevention of HAPU/I

HAPU/I result in significant patient harm, including pain, expensive treatments, increased length of institutional stay and, in some patients, premature mortality. It is estimated each year more than 2.5 million patients in U.S. acute-care facilities suffer from pressure ulcer/injuries and 60,000 die from their complications. The cost of treating a single full-thickness pressure ulcer/injury can be as high as $70,000, and total costs for treatment of pressure ulcer/injury in the United States is estimated at $11 billion annually.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that despite a 13 percent decrease in all hospital-acquired conditions from 2014-2017, HAPU/I rates have risen by six percent.

There are multiple barriers to consistent, successful implementation of preventative measures for HAPU/I. This project will utilize Robust Process Improvement® (RPI®) methodology with three participating hospitals and health systems. RPI is a fact-based, systematic, and data-driven problem-solving methodology which incorporates tools and concepts from Lean Six Sigma and Change Management.  

Project Team

This methodology will guide and support organizations in identifying the root causes and barriers to preventing HAPU/I (s) in at-risk patients. The participating organizations will then develop solutions that are targeted to the specific root causes that have been identified and analyzed at their organizations. The measurement system and solutions will be tested, validated, and then spread to other organizations in 2020.

Project team

The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Hospital
Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital in Houston

The results for this project are targeted for publication in 2020.

For more information on the project, please see the blog and press release.